Price Realism Analysis Was Not Adequately Documented

The Court of Federal Claims sustained a protest of a contract award for business operations support services because the price realism analysis was not properly documented. The solicitation stated the price proposals would be “evaluated with respect to completeness, reasonableness, and realism.” In response to the protester’s allegation the government did not document the price realism analysis, the government cited the report of the technical evaluation panel and the selection recommendation report.

No Basis for Review

The applicable acquisition manual required the TEP to “determin[e] price realism and document[] its analysis in either the [TEP] Report or a written memorandum to the [contracting officer].” However, the administrative record contained no written memorandum to the CO, and the TEP’s 15-page report contained only a single paragraph stating a price realism analysis was performed and a chart showing each offeror’s overall proposed price. Thus, the record showed the TEP conducted a price realism analysis, but it violated the applicable acquisition manual and procedures by failing to provide the analysis or its conclusions. Without a description of the facts analyzed, and the reasoning connecting the facts with the conclusions, the court was not in a position to determine whether the government exercised its discretion in a non-arbitrary manner. Further, the awardee’s proposed price was below the government’s estimate, and the difference was significant enough that there was a substantial chance a documented price realism analysis would have led the government to award the contract to the protester. The court concluded the protester met all the factors for preliminary injunctive relief and remanded the procurement to the government “for additional investigation or explanation” regarding price realism. ( Cohen Financial Services, Inc. v. U.S., et al., FedCl, 57 CCF ¶80,053)